On the Couch with Jasminda

children homework


Do you have a pressing problem, annoying anxiety or community conundrum? Jasminda Featherlight, our resident roving Agony Aunt, is here to help. Jasminda will be responding to questions from our FOUR News Of The Area papers on a rotating basis. Send your concerns to Jasminda care of edit@mcnota.com.au and include your title, initials and suburb.

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Dear Jasminda,

My Year 1 son gets a ridiculous amount of homework. If his teacher is doing her job properly, why do we have to be burdened with all this extra work and stress?

A frazzled Mrs MR, Hawks Nest.

Dear Mrs MR,
I’m not sure what your occupation is, but I’m guessing you have never been responsible for the social, emotional, academic and physical development of up to 30 children for over 30 hours each week (and that is disregarding the many hours of preparation, report writing, professional development and so on).

Have you spent much time in a classroom, Mrs MR? I used to be a Year 1 parent helper for just one hour a day. At the end of that hour I would stumble towards the exit gate with an excruciating headache and a nervous twitch. Small children are like rabid dogs. It is very important that you don’t get down on their level or they will quite literally attack you and you’ll never get back up again. Don’t let those cute smiles, innocent eyes and podgy limbs fool you. You are basically in a room surrounded by miniature Kim Jong-uns. Does that sound like fun to you?

Then there are the school discos, where poor Mrs Morcombe with her dodgy hip has to stomp along to ‘We Will Rock You’ while you have a bottle of red, a pizza and a whinge at the local tavern. Or what about the school camps where parents like you neglect to mention that little Timothy has a habit of sleepwalking and doesn’t have the mental aptitude to find a toilet, instead choosing to vomit, after a big dose of camp-issued Bolognese, in another kid’s bed. You are also the parent who picks Timothy up half an hour late and Mrs Morcombe has to play babysitter as well as educator, because your job is somehow more important than hers.

Teachers should receive nothing but admiration, Mrs MR. If you have to listen to Timothy stutter his way through ‘My Dog Rex’ every night until he works his way up to ‘My Sister Sue’, then so be it.

Carpe diem,

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